Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and other compounds they produce protect us from infection of foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
Some of the signs of inflammation can be redness, swelling, stiffness and pain. These are the signs that the body is working to repair itself using inflammation processes.
Short-term inflammation is a good thing. It happens when the body is repairing. The body is in full control of when and what part of the body needs the healing. We want the healing, we want the inflammation, but it should only be short-term.
Chronic inflammation is when your body’s inflammatory response is uncontrolled and can eventually start damaging healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Chronic illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, thyroid disease can be a result of chronic inflammation.
How do you know if you have chronic inflammation?
The big thing is that chronic inflammation has no specific symptoms. Short-term inflammation exhibits symptoms like pain, redness and bleeding. In chronic inflammation, yes, you may feel the same symptoms but, may not realise that chronic inflammation is occurring. You may feel some aches but may think it might just be a symptom of another illness or, you might think it’s just normal.
Unless you go to a health professional, you don’t really know that chronic inflammation is already present. But, if you are aware of what is going on in your body, you may recognise there is something wrong.
You may say;
“I feel a little bit sore today I wonder why”
“My energy is very low; something’s not quite right”
“I feel some body aches and it doesn’t feel normal”
Listen to your body and see how it is feeling.
Think about your body as a forest and your illness or injury is the fire. Your immune system is the firefighters and the waters that kill the fire. This is short-term inflammation as the immune system can easily eradicate the fire on your body. Now, long term or chronic inflammation is like petrol that was poured on that fire or a strong wind that spreads the fire. The fire becomes uncontrollable. It can now spread to the rest of the forest, which is your body.
What can you do now?
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Eat a plant-based diet and eat more fruits. Eat a variety of fruits and veggies. Aim for 3 or more cups of a variety of fresh salad and vegetables per day.
Consume ‘Essential Fats’.
Essential fats have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. Good Sources include deep-sea fish, phytoplankton, olive oil, avocado, hemp oil, flaxseed oil, seeds and nuts. Include a selection of these foods into your diet on a daily basis.
Reduce your red meat.
Red meat, especially grain-fed meat can be highly inflammatory and increase your overall inflammation levels. Reducing red meat to once per week or less will help reduce your inflammatory levels. Select pasture-fed meats over the grain-fed meat.
Reduce grains and dairy.
These group of foods have a tendency to be highly inflammatory in already inflamed bodies. Avoid them entirely to help reduce inflammation.
Eat more anti-inflammatory foods.
Foods that have a reputation to reduce inflammation include pineapple, kiwi fruit, ginger, onions (sautéed in olive oil), apples, berries, turmeric. Regularly add these foods into your eating plan to maximise their anti-inflammatory effect.
Make sure you get out in the sun regularly and get enough sunlight through your skin, at least 5-10 minutes daily to maximise that vitamin D in our body.
Food high in vitamin D are fish liver oils, butter, egg yolk, sprouted seeds and mushrooms (exposed to sunlight before eating to activate Vitamin D).
Doing gentle regular movements can decrease the risk of chronic inflammation in our body. For example, a 15 moderate walk or 10 minutes of stretching every morning.
Avoid sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates.
These refined foods can increase the inflammation of the body. Utilise an eating plan that reduces processed foods with hidden sugars, additive and preservatives.
Practice thinking positive thoughts.
Stress has a negative effect on our body; it can contribute to the inflammation. Positive self-talk, relaxation, and being aware of your thoughts can decrease your risk of chronic inflammation.
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